Essay about Symbols And Symbols Of God

820 Words May 1st, 2016 4 Pages
According to Tillich, the symbols of faith and ultimate concern do not emerge in seclusion, they are unified by their significance. Ultimate Concern can only be conveyed through the use of symbols. They are necessary, as only symbolic language is capable of truly articulating the natural reality and infinite essence of the ultimate. Both philosophical and religious symbols point ahead of themselves. This is a mutual trait shared with signs, but the two differ in many ways including that symbols point towards the essence, or definitive meaning of something.
Additionally, symbols and signs differ in that symbols participate in the reality that they point to while a sign points solely to an occurrence or experience. Symbols are a part of what they point to. In Christian religious traditions, the symbol of God participates in acts of faith, pursuing harmony between the follower and the infinitely unknown.
Thirdly, according to Tillich, symbols open up levels of reality which are otherwise closed to us. Poems, songs, and portraits along with philosophical ideas and religious symbols reveal things about reality that are outside of our usual experiences, and that science cannot explain. A scientific theory might be able to uncover how the physical realm functions, but it is unable to give any meaning.
Lastly, symbols cannot be created purposefully. They grow out of the collective unconscious of an individual or group. Symbols cannot accomplish their goal without…

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